They will be the first to burn: More Ugly Covers To Display Proudly

Since it’s the end of CBSI, I thought I would at least try my hand at one last article as a swan song and final warning to readers out there who face the perils of the comic market. Sure, sure…there’s plenty of eye candy out there, but running across an ugly cover in the middle of a nice longbox run is the equivalent of checking out your blind date, you giving her the eye, her giving you the eye, but then finding out her hands are bigger than yours when you shake. True story, brrrr.

As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so any of these positions could be interchangeable. So let’s start with a perennial mainstay of worst cover articles everywhere: Rob Liefeld.

10) Avengers Vol. 2 #1

Ah Rob, you never cease to amaze me. Yes, I know he has tons of adoring fans and that he made New Mutants great again. And yes, I know he invented pouches and tubular guns. But what I really, really know is that he reinvented anatomy. I mean you can tell that Ol’ Cap is stressing out because his neck has sprouted a network of sinew and veins which shouldn’t be humanly possible…unless you’re Rob Liefeld. And Thor’s muscles-on-top-of-muscles and patchwork veins are only matched by the beadiest eyes this side of JonZ. But the kicker is the size of Scarlet Witch’s hands, they’re literally larger than grown men’s heads. Reminds me of a certain date I knew….

Check out the Swordman’s sweet bowlcut!

9) The Ultimates #11 Cosplay Variant

Kudos to the brave soul for his cosplaying skills but C’MON MAN, AT LEAST LOOK THE PART! Galactus is known as a devourer of worlds, an unstoppable force sent out to ravage the universe and leave a trail of death and destruction! I want a Galactus that looks like a swole badass ready to kick your door in and snatch your cornbread from your quivering hands…not some guy who looks like he’s giving up his balls just because you hinted at having an Ultimate Nullifier in your pants. Unless of course he’s actually cosplaying as Mr. Fantastic (gangly arms FTW!) cosplaying as Galactus…which would be brilliant.

“Take em, they’re yours”

Seriously though, just like with the first set of Cosplay covers, it looks like Marvel decided to pick some cosplayers from random conventions around the country, throw them in front of the most mundane backdrops, take a few pics and then save a ton of money by not having to hire a cover artist. Although some of the covers don’t look that bad, this reminds me that Marvel’s decision making skills have been questionable ever since they started focusing on their movie department. These covers could have been truly special had Marvel used their resources to set up a nice photography studio and given these incredible cosplayers a background setting worthy of their costumes. Shame on you Marvel, not once, but twice.

8) Valiant Cat Cosplay Covers

You know what’s worse than cosplay covers? Animal cosplay covers. Please, please, please tell me there’s a crazy cat lady working at Valiant.

No animals were harmed in the making of these covers. Well, maybe their dignity.

7) The Multiversity #1 Morrison Art Variant

They say that art evokes within you certain feelings and this one is no exception. But the feeling I’m getting is one of procrastination. I can just imagine what transpired when Grant Morrison was given the task of creating this variant cover (for a project that would basically provide insight to DC’s Multiverse after the reboot for The New 52).

Instead of diligently working on the cover, Grant goes on a Shaun L level binge, blowing whatever advance money was given to him and wrecking homes and orifices in the process. Well the day eventually arrived that DC came knocking on his door demanding the cover. Grant, waking up from his stupor, reaches for the first piece of paper he can find and thankfully it had some drunken scribbles on it and he slips it underneath the door while yelling out “don’t forget to send the check!”

You’re not fooling anyone Grant, we know what happened 😉

6) Eternal Warrior #44

Honestly you could have picked up almost any cover in the 90s and it would have a 50/50 chance it was going to be ugly. Excessively heavy inking, strange color schemes, and a lot of pouches/belts. Check, check, and check. Everyone was doing it. This particular sample was picked because the artist chose his background color to be “poo”. Followed with a bright orange title and egregious branding. Bad cover? Yup. Peer pressure? Booooooo.

I wonder if it will be tweeted that two of their books made another CBSI list?

5) The Strain #3

Just goes to show that although you might not match the big boys dollar per dollar, you can still keep up with the ugliness. Congrats? Not much else to say here folks, it’s just an ugly cover. But could it be that the real reason I’m including this one here is because….

Venomized Khoi Cakes???

4) The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #47

You know how when you want to add text to a picture and there are about 50 million fonts to choose from and you want to check them all but get tired after the 41,980th style and just settle on whichever one you happen to be on but it’s the ugliest one out of the 50 million and it’s too late and you’re tired and want to scratch your eyes out and decide to use the most standard, plain-looking font on the other words of the title to offset the ugliness of the former font and, hey let’s take a photo of how you feel and use that as the cover? Exactly.

Have I mentioned I hate photo covers? Especially ones that look like they have almost zero effort put into them? How much effort does it take to take a photo, tint it green and cut out the eyes? And did I mention that has to be the worst looking title ever?

I feel the same way looking at you buddy.

You know you’re ugly when you make other photo covers feel good.

3) Conan Vol. 1 #9

One of the worst crimes against comicdom that I feel has ever been perpetuated is that Rob Liefeld not only gave us a bunch of ugly covers, but he influenced a generation of artists to draw like him. Dem veins yo! And doesn’t Conan look really similar to a certain mutant? So a copycat (yes, you know he is) was copycatted. How meta.

Slayed then teabagged. How shameful.

2) Batman Rebirth #1 Sale Variant

Yes, I know some of you actually like Tim Sale’s work (please remain seated). Is it style? Is it lack of skill? You be the judge but I feel that the way the characters are drawn is plain and simple ugly. I just feel that the facial expressions…MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT IS THAT BETWEEN BATMAN’S LEGS??? Oh, it’s just Solomon Grundy’s fist. Whew! I wonder if that blond lady in the middle made the same mistake I made and passed out.

I see that look in your eyes Catwoman. You saucy minx you!

1) Superman: Man of Steel Vol. 1 #29

If I thought Tim Sale was bad, Jon Bogdanove is legendary. DC, what were you thinking? I honestly couldn’t tell if Bloodthirst is a male or female character based on this depiction. Like a German latex fantasy gone wrong. Ugh. This cover is so bad, I’m almost glad that the CBSI Ugly Cover articles are shutting down!

I guess this makes DC the winner?

Dishonorable Mentions

Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7

Iron Man is letting everyone know it’s MJ’s fault.

Dark Wolverine #79 Young Gun Variant

You ever had to hold one back so bad you popped your damn claws?

Divinity #3

Oh hey, you actually managed to get three on this list. Ha!


  • Avatar

    how long will it take for Mr. Valiant to mention he’s on another top 10 list??

  • Gwenpool4President

    Some, uhhh, interesting covers there.

    You know who knows how to do cosplay covers? Dynamite Entertainment. They get good models and have interesting backgrounds. Marvel and Valiant should look to Dynamite when it comes to cosplay covers.

    As for Tim Sale, that is the one cover on this Batman run I didn’t mind of his.

  • Avatar

    the end of cbsi? april fools joke i hope

  • Ben Steiniger

    Awesome list Khoi! Lol on the Valiant joke. The big question is if they will think you are Trey too!

  • Avatar

    Valiant Cat Cosplay covers are one thousand times better than Marvel’s people cosplay covers. Plus, it feels like Valiant is poking fun at just how terrible Marvel’s variants can be.

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